The Future of Social Media is NOT Networks, But Relationship Management

Remember just a few years ago when Twitter and Facebook were really rising to the top and getting market acceptance in a broader way? Soon thereafter we started hearing about hundreds of new social networks popping up left and right. Those were directly competing with the two big boys for the non-business user.  Remember any?  Probably not too many. Most are gone now.

The next trend were the specialized social networks. You know, the “friends of cats” and the “over 90 year olds” niche platforms. The latest in this space are the “child social networks”, which in and of itself is somewhat horrifying and problematic. Unless you go to cat shows or hang out in the nursing home digital bridge game sites, none of these niche networks are probably top of mind for you, or more importantly the media.

Social CRM - The future of social media marketingThe Facebook and Twitter social phenomena crossed the divide to main stream to the point that major media post their social icons during every broadcast and fortune 500’s no longer even include their website address on commercials. This among hundreds of other situations have converged to make social media the norm, not the exception. Like many of you reading this post, I am very excited this has been the result.

Most professionals in the space are using various management tools, like HootSuite, TweetDeck, Bundle Post and a stream of others, to manage all of their accounts. The efficiency these tools deliver are no longer a good idea, but rather a must. Beyond Social Media Management there is something missing…

What is the future of social media, social media marketing and management? The LAST thing we need is yet another broad social network! In order for social media to move to the next level an easy to use and setup Social CRM (customer relationship) Management system is needed.  And BAD!

We’ve made all these connections on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but there is yet a way for the average business or individual to have a place to merge people into single contact records to better manage these relationships. Yes, I know there are many solutions out there that purport to do this, however outside of the (unmentioned) big boys with expensive platforms, nobody has filled this gap. This is the holy grail of social media marketing that will not only skyrocket B2B social media use and effectiveness, but done properly will take B2C social media to the ultimate level.

8 thoughts on “The Future of Social Media is NOT Networks, But Relationship Management

  1. I agree that services like Tweetdeck are a must have for the management of multiple social media accounts. One of the concepts that I most enjoy about social media is the ability for users to communicate with others (people or businesses) in a manner that best suits their style. Some people prefer one platform over the other, while some can interact in any of the different media streams. So I disagree that we need a single Social CRM System.

    The very idea of a CRM, to me, seems counter productive to the spirit of social media. I want businesses to build a relationship with me through personal interaction! If that means that a business or organization must maintain different social media accounts to reach and build relationships with the uses on them so be it! Businesses must go to the user, on the platform they choose.

    My fear with all-inclusive CRM is that it would be too generic to work effective on all platforms. I have even stopped my tweets from auto-posting to Facebooks because I realize that I have a different voice / tone on each platform because of the way each works. Social Media is about engaging people in a specific environment. If a potential client came up to you at a trade show, would your interaction be the same as if the same potential client approached in friendly manner at your child’s school event?

    I foresee businesses that do not truly understand the real power of social media using CRM systems like email auto-respond programs. Social media is for interaction, systems of any kind run the risk of depersonalizing social media.

    1. There is so much here, it’s hard to pick where to start…

      1) Social CRM does not replace anything you discuss in the first paragraph. It puts all connections for a single person in one place. 1 contact record with all the social contact points you have with a brand or person, so you can easily engage in any network without trying to remember everyone.

      2) Please explain how social CRM would reduce personal interaction????? It will INCREASE personal interaction.

      3) Unsure what all-inclusive means to you or how in anyway CRM makes anything generic. Knowing all connection points of your audience and being able to remember and engage with them through the users preferred point is smart business. Of course it is about engaging in specific environments and appropriately based on the venue/network.

      I am not sure you know what social CRM actually is my friend. Happy to discuss offline if you’d like, let me know…


  2. Interesting post! My takeaway…. Yes, to make the most of Social Media there should be a system that allows you to manage your relationships appropriately. However, let’s not for get the “Social” in social media. Part of what makes it work as a business/marketing tool is the personal, conversational nature of the channel. Hard to gain economies of scale if building that personal approach.
    I can see the benefits of a system to manage various accounts and conversations, but you will always need the right person jn place to build your social content, and conversational voice.
    Just my take …

    1. Thanx for the comments!

      Please don’t misunderstand. Using CRM to better track, understand and manage your social connections has nothing to do with when/how or where you post. If you have read anything else I write, you would also see that I am emphatic about relationships, engaging and being personal within the social graph.

      I see I need to write a post about social CRM that explains exactly what it is and isn’t… :-) I will work on that soon!

      Meanwhile, keep engaging, commenting and building relationships (just as you would also continue to do using a social CRM)


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